It’s just after 6am.
The house is silent, everyone is asleep, except me.
I have a whole hour before I have to get up. I toss and turn and contemplate my options.
Should get up now, or roll over and go back to sleep?
I know I should get up early because…
- I could get things done. I could fold all the washing, I could cook my kids pancakes for breakfast (on a school day! gasp!), I could wash the floor without anyone walking on it.
- I could do something for myself. I could exercise, or write in a journal, or draw, or take an uninterrupted shower.
- I could be organised. Think of how less rushed mornings could be if I had an extra hour to do everything?
- The house is silent, and it’s never, ever, silent. I should get up and just wander around and breath in the silence.
- I could be a ‘better person’. How many articles have I read that say ‘getting up early is one of the habits of highly successful people’? This one makes 47 I think.
Am I going to get up early?
Am I going to be that super organised, calm, productive person who wakes up an hour before they need to?
Who am I kidding?
I’m not going to get up early because…
- I’m tired thanks to my smallest child waking me up in the middle of the night, twice.
- It’s cold, and dark, and I don’t like cold or dark.
- I’m tired due to my oldest child having a crisis at 10pm that needed sorting.
- No matter how early I get up, or how organised I try to be, it is always a mad rush to get out the door on time anyway. What is with that?
- I’m tired because the only time I get to have an actual conversation with my husband that is not about who is picking or taking which child to what event is at 11pm.
- If I get up one of the kids will hear me and ruin the whole silence and ‘me time’ thing with their talking and ‘needing stuff’ thing.
- I’m tired because I really really wanted to finish the book I am reading… it’s only taken me six months to read it, and still I fell asleep with 10 pages to go.
- If I get up I’ll have to face the piles of washing, and the sticky floors, and whatever is making that weird smell in the bathroom, and I’d rather avoid those things as long as possible.
- I’m tired because I’ve been functioning on not enough sleep for the past 11 years. Yes, my oldest children are 11.
- Did I already mention I am tired?
Today I stayed in bed.
The idea of getting up early does seem productive, somewhat enjoyable, and even almost possible some days, but other days it feels like a heavy load of ‘should’ and ‘if only’.
I have four kids.
I am tired.
I don’t need any more ‘shoulds’ in my life right now.
So I’m dropping ‘get up early’ from my ‘should list’, and I’m moving it to my ‘sometimes, when I can, list’.
Sometimes I am exhausted, and it’s dark and cold, and I’m staying put in bed till I absolutely have to get up, and I will enjoy every minute of it.
Sometimes when I’ve had enough sleep (and it does happen occasionally now that my kids are all getting older, there is hope), and the weather is warmer, I’ll get up early, and sit in the sunshine, and breathe in the silence, and prepare for the day.
Staying in bed does not make me lazy or unproductive.
Getting up early isn’t the answer to all my problems.
But getting up before my kids sometimes is a special event that I will enjoy, not enforce.
I will tackle each day as it comes and each morning in whatever way I can, with one less should.